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The Who girl's big secret

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1974-05-16 Titbits.jpg


THE DREADED Daleks and space monsters In BBC TV's Dr. Who have scared millions. But they never worried Katy Manning, the dolly bird who became famous as Jo, the doctor's assistant because she couldn't see them.

Katy is as "blind as a bat.

"For years I've worked without being able to see beyond my nose," she said. "I can't watch TV, pick up a book, catch a bus or train without glasses

Katy told how the former Dr. Who actor Jon Pertwee, and the production team helped her cope in her three years with the show.

"They waved white handkerchiefs beside the camera so I would know where to look," she said.

"Jon was marvellous. He protected me totally,

But her first night's filming on location ended in disaster. "I had to drop a torch, then pick it up in front of a barbed-wire fence," she said.

Jon saw the danger and was about to shout but before he could say anything the zip broke on my trousers. I ran into the fence and my trousers fell down.

"I'm the most bruised and battered actress in the business.

"When I appeared in the Edinburgh Festival I crashed into people on stage and as I came off I tripped over women's handbags.

Calling names Why doesn't Katy wear her glasses in shows? She produced her latest pair with heavy, half-inch rims and said: "They're so thick I look like Mrs, Magoo.

"I'm not worried about my appearance, but after nicknames like Granny Manning' and 'Four Eyes' you get sick of wearing them."

She wears contact lenses in Why Not Stay For Breakfast? the hilarious comedy at London's Apollo Theatre in which she stars with Derek Nimmo,

"They're necessary," she said, "because it's not like a TV studio where you can stop and work out where you are.

"Nothing can be done about my eye sight. I just hope that when I am old everything will balance up."

Blonde Katy has overcome more than one problem. She has a scar, fortunately barely recognisable, on her attractive face. It is one of 25 scars as many as my age," she says with a laugh on her body, following a car crash when she was 16.

She was in hospital for a year and has still to undergo more plastic surgery.

Katy, a 5ft (without her 7in heels) cutie with a 33-22-34, figure is not only one of Britain's most talented young actresses, but a fun girl, too.

The night before we met, she had plunged fully-clothed into a swimming pool at London's La Valbonne nightclub.

"I sometimes get carried away. "I'm boringly energetic I only get tired in the mornings. I should think I'm disastrous to live with.

"I love cooking, cleaning and arranging flowers, but I may say I'll be home at 10 o'clock and you won't see me till five in the morning.

"It's not that I've been up to no good, but if I'm in a fun situation, I stay till the end."

Buying clothes Katy admits to being old-fashioned her two-bedroomed flat at Chiswick west London, is filled with Victoriana and pot plants.

"I really like things with a history, " she said,

She's right up to date when it comes to pop-she carries around a picture of Marc Bolan and clothes, "if it's the latest thing but I look hideous in it, I'll wear it," she said,

She lives with her actor boyfriend, Stewart Beavan, who played a Welsh scientist with whom she fell in love in Dr. Who and stars in the new film The Ghoul.

They have three cats called Poor Baby, Smudger and Kotic (Russian for my old tom cat) and two dogs.

Katy, daughter of the late J. L. Manning, the controversial sports journalist, has no marriage plans. She said: "I was brought up by my father to be open-minded. He always said, 'Do what you want to do as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else. That's how I live."

Cass and some of the pets get a cuddle from fearless Katy

Caption: Katy and Jon Pertwee set for action (above); eyes right for Katy in full focus

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